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Club Moss


    Scientific Names

    Club Moss
    Club Moss
    • Lycopodium clavatum L.
    • Clubmoss family

    Common Names

    ivyCommon clubmoss
    ivyFoxtail
    ivyGround pine
    ivyLycopod
    ivyRunning clubmoss
    ivyStaghorn
    ivyVegetable sulfur
    ivyWolf claw
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    Parts Usually Used

    Spores
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    Description of Plant(s) and Culture

    Club moss is a low perennial plant; a moss-like evergreen, 3-15 inches high with creeping runners; the creeping, slender stem roots all along its length and sends up branches bearing tiny, stiff, linear, green leaves tipped with a white, soft, hairlike bristle. The yellow spores, with 1-6 strobiles, are borne on 1 or 2 club-like spikes growing on a long footstalk from the end of a branch.
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    Where Found

    Found in dry, coniferous forests and acid soils all over the world. In North America; Canada south to New York, North Carolina mountains; west to Wisconsin, Washington.
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    Medicinal Properties

    Hemostatic, vulnerary
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    Legends, Myths and Stories

    A related Chinese species in the clubmoss family is being researched as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
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    Uses

    Native Americans, as well as Europeans, have used club moss spores as a powder to stop nosebleed, post-partum pains, fever, diarrhea, dysentery, gastric sedative, aphrodisiac, styptic, rheumatism, diaper rash, tangled or matted hair with vermin, herpes, eczema, dermatitis in folds of skin, erysipelas, and bleeding from wounds. The powder has been used to absorb fluids from damaged tissues in various injuries. At one time, it coated pills to prevent the pills from sticking together when packed. Native Americans also used to sprinkle the powder made from this herb on wounds to stop bleeding.
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    How Sold

    Powder of this herb is sold in health food stores and herb shops. Use on minor skin wounds.
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    Warning

    The plant itself is poisonous, but the spores are not poisonous.

    This clubmoss (L. clavatum) contains a toxic alkaloid.
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    Bibliography

    Buy It! American Folk Medicine/i>, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

    Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

    Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

    Buy It! Earl Mindell's Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

    Buy It! How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts, by Frances Densmore, Dover Publications, Inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, first printed by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, in 1928, this Dover edition 1974

    Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

    Buy It! Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

    Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature's Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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